Christmas is a time of mystery and joy, happiness and loss. I've come to realize that if you live long enough the season of joy will have its edge of sorrow. There's the cold in the sharp winter wind and darkness falling in late afternoon. People we love fiercely are no longer here. Those we thought would always be with us simply aren't. People don't 'lose' a cancer battle. Let's get the emphasis right. Cancer steals too many.
And in the ebb and flow, the Christmas carols, wonderful food and festivities it's easy to forget one of the best things we can give ourselves is stillness. It's essential.
Here's what I've found that helps capture the beauty of Christmas.
1) Make a joyful noise. I started my preparations last Saturday, slowly unwrapping the Christmas boxes and ornaments. Every ornament in my collection has a story. The decorated tree, once finished, becomes an album. No decorator tree here, with everything matchy-matchy.
Some of the ornaments date back to -- hang on -- the 50's so in today's vernacular these would be considered "vintage." The ornament here is from a gifted couple who turned the unspeakable loss of their infant son into a celebration of each and every day they had him in their lives. It's so rare to read about people like Bill and Sharon - they don't have 150,000 twitter followers, or a foundation, or a big this or that. They have hearts so large mine swells writing about them.
|A priceless gift.|
We all know someone like them, people whose grace and beauty are like manna from heaven. I'll be calling them these week. reconnecting with friends is such "joyful noise!"
2) Create a new tradition. Scaling back the Christmas cooking is an act FOR both mental and physical health. Do we really need a tray with ten different cookies? Nice to see in a magazine but in real life: my sister and I divided the food prep in half and with a twist: I'm trading all the cookies for one incredible recipe for caramels from my friend Laura T at The Spiced Life,
3) Celebrate the good in the world. If you haven't seen what the awesome Bloggess has been up to, please read this write-up in the Washington Post. about her and find your way to pay it forward.
4) Resolve -- Make a firm decision about your health and keep it alive! If you need an exercise buddy leave me a comment and we'll work something out! Last week I recounted my path toward fitness in a guest post -- 'The Accidental Athlete' -- I wrote for journalist Mary Knudson's blog, Heartsense. Hope you can check that out!
5) Let loose with the four-letter words: Love. Hope. Care. Cure. You have all enriched my life this year beyond measure. Be good to yourselves, be good to each other and remember this incredible message posted by The Bloggess in her Christmas Miracle Post:
|From @TheBloggess in true Christmas spirit.|